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Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Time, and Eternity (1)

One of the online groups to which I belong is for those with a theological interest!  Now that I am once again able to be online more regularly, I have been ploughing through hundreds of e-mails, including one from that group regarding God's knowledge of all of history.

I have already suggested that a major part of the answer lies in the relationship between time and eternity.  Earlier this year, I preached a message on "Biblical veils", that ended up with some references to that relationship.  I plan to share that final point over the next few days, in a series of posts.  Be sure to return for the rest of them!

That final point concerned the veil that will be reached when we come to the end of our mortal lives.   I have given much thought to this over recent years.  Not that I am becoming particularly morbid!  It’s just that the Lord seems to be giving me little insights.
I recently learned of a material called graphene which, I am assured, is only one atom in thickness.  That means that, by comparison, the finest gossamer is like extra-heavy brocade!  I believe, firmly, that what separates time from eternity is finer again even than graphene, yet of a strength that even if every nuclear device possessed by mankind was to be detonated simultaneously, there would not be even the slightest dent in, or the faintest scratch on, that particular veil.
So what happens at the moment of physical death?  Well, for the disciple of Jesus, the answer is simple.   Paul tells us, in II Cor 5:8 that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.  Jesus, Himself assured the penitent thief on the cross that “... today you will be with Me in Paradise." (Luke 23:43).  So it doesn’t seem to be the case that, when I die – and this is all, of course, only applicable for as long as the rapture of the saints of God is delayed – it doesn’t seem to be the case that I travel millions of light years to reach my celestial abode!  No, it’s as instantaneous as it will be at the rapture when, Paul tells us, “It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown.” (I Cor 15:52).
We find further hints of this when we look in the O.T.  Remember the great old patriarch, Enoch.  I love those words recorded of him in Gen 5: “Enoch lived 365 years, walking in close fellowship with God. Then one day he disappeared, because God took him.” Or, as the older translations put it, “... he was not; for God took him.” (vs 23-24)
So what happened to Enoch?  Well, what I am now going to share is, I freely confess, somewhat speculative.  But I share it with you because I am convinced, not only of its possibility, but of its probability!  I believe that those words are telling us that, every morning, when Enoch awoke, his first words were “Well, Lord, where are we going today; what will we be doing?  And that's a good way for any of us to start the day!  And the Lord told him.  Then, one day, he awoke and, having asked the same question, was told by God, “Today, Enoch, dear friend, you are coming to my bit.  Let’s go!  And Enoch simply walked through that veil that separates time from eternity.
(to be continued!).

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